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21 March 2007, 12:00 pm
Rankings Released 21 March 2007
Action from Marseille
Marseille was centre stage in the match racing world in March

ISAF World Match Race Rankings

France stay on top in the latest release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings on 21 March, with both Sébastien COL (FRA) and Claire LEROY (FRA) holding on to their world #1 spots. However, COL is coming under increasing pressure from Ian WILLIAMS (GBR), who is aiming to become the first ever British world #1 on the Open Rankings.

How The Rankings Work

The ISAF World Match Race Rankings rate skippers based on their performances over the last two years. Skippers score points by competing in ISAF Graded events. Each skipper can count a maximum of four events in each of the two most recent years, which are calculated over a rolling 24 months. The most points are up for grabs at World Championship events, followed by ISAF Grade 1 events, Grade 2 etc.

The tables show the new events included in this Ranking release.

The next Rankings release will be on 9 May 2007 following on from the ISAF Grade 1 Women's International Criterium in Spain. This will be the third release of the ISAF World Match Race Rankings in 2007.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Open

ISAF Grade Nation Event
Grade 1 FRA Marseille International
Match Race
Grade 2 GBR Winter Challenge 6
POR Algarve Cup Match Race
GBR Winter Challenge Final
Grade 3 AUS Warren Jones Youth Regatta
AUS Hardy Cup
NZL Youth International Match Race
ITA Match Mania
SUI Lugano Match Cup Act 2
Grade 4 ITA Porto Rotondo Cup Act 1
FRA Selective Match Racing Senior
FRA Selective Atlantique RR 2
GBR BUSA RYA MR Qualifier 2
ITA Match Race Napoli
FRA Finale de Zone St Quay
ITA Club Nautico Scarlino
Match Race
ITA Porto Rotondo Cup Act 2
FRA Selective Bassin Atalantique
RR 3
FRA Finale de Bassin Manche
FRA Selective Atlantique RR 4
SUI Lugano Match Cup Act 1
USA Weehawken Cup
FRA Finale de Bassin Atlantique
GBR RYA BUSA Match Racing
Grade 5 DOM Casa de Campo Match Cup
USA Sail NY Winter Match Race

Sébastien COL (FRA) hangs on to the top spot in the Open Rankings for his sixth consecutive release, although the Frenchman's reign at the top is coming under serious pressure from Ian WILLIAMS (GBR).

WILLIAMS was an impressive winner after an incident-packed finale at the ISAF Grade 1 Marseille International Match Race, taking the final 2-0 against Pierre-Antoine MORVAN (FRA). The British leader of the World Match Racing Tour standings will be looking to mirror COL's performance last year, when the Frenchman used his victory in Marseille as a springboard onto a fantastic European season which led him into the world #1 spot.

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Ian WILLIAMS is closing in on
the top spot
© Guilain Grenier

Top 10 Changes

Behind the leading pair, Mathieu RICHARD's (FRA) failure to make the final in Marseille sees him drop down one place to #4, with Paolo CIAN (ITA) replacing him in the world #3 slot. Eugeniy NEUGODNIKOV (RUS) was disappointing in Marseille, but made up for it with victory at the ISAF Grade 2 Algarve Cup in Portugal to climb up from #7 to #6. Staffan LINDBERG (FIN) also gains one place up to #9 after victory over RICHARD at the ISAF Grade 2 JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge 6. Damien IEHL (FRA) moves up to two spots to replace LINDBERG at #10 and give France three skippers in the world top 10.

At #19 and #20 respectively, Mark CAMPBELL-JAMES (GBR) and Andreas WILLIM (GER) are both new entries into the world top 20, whilst MORVAN's performance in Marseille helps him up six spots to #14.

Future Stars

Twenty year old Torvar MIRSKY (AUS) continues his rapid rise up the Rankings, moving up another ten places to #36 following victory at the ISAF Grade 3 Warren Jones Youth Regatta. Another of Oceania's fast-rising match racing stars, Adam MINOPRIO (NZL) also moves up, with a win at the ISAF Grade 3 Hardy Cup pushing him up to #31.

Second place at the Algarve Cup puts Rui BOIA (POR) up 38 places to #68, whilst the winner of the other major event in this Ranking release, the ISAF Grade 2 Winter Challenge Final, is a former star on the comeback trail. Former GBR Challenge helm Andy GREEN (GBR) is one of the highest climbers, jumping up massively from #425 to #190.

Following on from the first ever ISAF Graded match racing event in the Dominican Republic, won by Franco PISTONE (ITA), three new skippers from the Caribbean join the Rankings, led by runner up Sebastian MERA (DOM) at #837.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Open

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ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Women

Nation Event
Grade 2 GBR Winter Challenge
Women's Final
AUS Women's International
Match Race
Grade 3 POR BMG Women's Match
Grade 4 AUS Marinassess Women's

Claire LEROY's (FRA) reign at the top of the Women's Rankings continues, with the French skipper completing her 18th consecutive release in the world #1 spot. LEROY was in action in February at the ISAF Grade 2 Women's Final of the JPMorgan Asset Management Winter Challenge, although she suffered a shock defeat in the final to the Finnish team led by 21 year old Silja LEHTINEN. After breezing through the round robin and brushing aside world #2 Lotte MELDGAARD PEDERSEN (DEN) in the semis, LEROY suddenly found herself on the wrong end of a 3-0 whitewash in the final.

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Silja LEHTINEN overcame
world #1 Claire LEROY to win
in Great Britain
© Paul Wyeth/JPMorgan Asset

LEHTINEN's win, her first on the ISAF Graded circuit outside of Finland, propels her up into the elite world top 10, climbing five places from #15. Jenny AXHEDE (SWE), another of the Winter Challenge semi-finalists, also moves up, gaining two places from #9 to #7.

Four-time consecutive Australian Champion Nicky SOUTER (AUS) is the other major climber in the world top 20, with the 22 year old gaining two places up to #12 after her win at the ISAF Grade 2 Harken Women's International in Sydney.

High Climbers And New Entries

Further back, Maria RAMIRES (POR) gains 20 places to move up to #35 after victory at the ISAF Grade 3 Baia de Monte Gordo Women's Match. RAMIRES is now Portugal's top Ranked skipper, whilst the losing finalist in Portugal, Catarina CARVALHO (POR) jumps straight in to the Rankings at #88.

Amanda SCRIVENOR (AUS) is the highest of 11 new entries in this release, joining the Rankings at #55 after winning the ISAF Grade 4 Marinassess Women's Match and finishing fifth at the Harken International.

ISAF World Match Race Rankings - Women

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The next Rankings release will be on 9 May 2007 following on from the ISAF Grade 1 Women's International Criterium in Spain.

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